The Bus Meets The Hotel

A William Gibson/Count Zero inspired fanfiction

author/Electric Monk

The man watching out the window didn't exist. At least not so far as anyone could ever prove. Despite this lack of existence he had a job to do.

Turner had been a soldier in his own right for most of his adult life, although he'd never worn a uniform. A mercenary, his employers vast corporations warring covertly for control of entire economies. He was a specialist in the extraction of top executives and research people. The multinationals he worked for would never admit that men like Turner existed.

The window he watched from overlooked a large hotel. Normally bustling; quiet and empty it stood. His building was old, industrial, slated demolition. Replaced by secure apartment units. Mid level workers needing seemingly safe life.

Military looking men stood on the roof of the hotel. They were armed, and watchful; scanning the area. A squat gray cube was perched on slender legs. A flat-black helicopter, tattooed, a stark white IBM, hovered a few hundred feet away and up. Full of menace, lazily shifting position, swinging the bulbous nose around.

The hotel was neutral ground. An oasis from the usual violence. IBM and Hosaka were conducting technology transfers between top scientists. Even the biggest companies had the occasional need to talk to each other. Naturally this had to be in person at highly secure locations. In this case it wasn't secure enough.

Electro-optical guided anti-air missile streaks towards the hovering helicopter. Chopping noise changed pitch and frequency as the pilot heard the incessant beeping noise of the warning system. The nose dropped and the composite rotor's speed increased. The helicopter started moving. Slowly. The missile made only a slight adjustment; control surfaces twitching it cut through the clear sky. The pilot knew her fate. But she was a professional. She never blinked. The fireball that replaced the helicopter transformed into wreckage; plunging towards the uncaring concrete.

Turner turned his head away from the window; tired of watching the destruction he caused. He was thinking about that asshole Conroy, saying that it was going to be an easy mission. Right. A million in hard New Yen in expenses. Wonder who Conroy's plant is this time, Turner thought as he headed for the elevator. Conroy always needed that little bit of control. On the other hand he invariably had no hard feelings about his plant being killed.

Turner broke free from his thoughts as the elevator dinged reaching the garage; he glanced down at the small video screen in his hands, one hand keeping the door closed, watching the crowd gathering outside the hotel to look at the wreckage of the helicopter. His brown eyes narrowed as he saw a few people in the crowd moving purposefully to surround the hotel in a protective barrier. He mentally shrugged; it wouldn't matter to his plan.

As he let the elevator's doors open he saw his assembled crew, five men and two women. "Move out" Turner said quietly. The people scattered, heading to the Mitsu-G supplied limo, the bus and a pair of Singapore Personal Armored Cars, the PAC's were a knock off of the British Land Rover, designed for private security forces. As the people got in Turner thought of the other member of the team, a cowboy sitting in an expensive hotel room across town. Prepping, ready to throw the hotel off the matrix and taking down their security net. Turner climbed into the bus and sat down in the poorly upholstered seat and felt the bus rumble as the engine caught, smoothing out as the fuel cells stabilized the power flow. He tried not to think of the bomb wired to the bus by some unknown tech. The bomb's core was ten kilos of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT, more then enough to blow the hotel apart.

The man driving was French, Jean, with a decent record in these kinds of operations but he seemed the most likely candidate for Conroy's plant so his life was forfeit. Turner shrugged internally.

The small convoy roared out of the rear of the building; down dusty streets, no one out as the sun sank below the wavering horizon. They turned a corner and the hotel came into view Turner mumbled a command into his mike. The PAC's skidded to a halt on either side of the hotel's doors, dual machine guns popping out of their roofs, training on the hotel doors. The man who had taken out the helicopter fired his next missile into the roof of the hotel. The top three floors turned into a blaze; black smoke blocking the last sunlight.

Turner braced for impact as the bus crashed through the hotel doors in a hail of sparks and debris. In the matrix the hotel disappeared as the cowboy killed any and all connections to the outside world throwing the surviving security personnel into confusion as their free flow tactical links shut down.

Turner readied his gun, an S&W Tactical, .408 with a xenon projector slung underneath. As the bus stopped it's headlong rush Turner called out to Jean who turned around just in time to stop a .408 slug. Turner stepped over the headless body on his way to the kitchen where the defector, Chauvex was waiting. He grabbed Chauvex on his way out to the Mitsu-G limo waiting for them.

In the lobby IBM and Hosaka security personnel stood stunned, backups beginning to converge just in time for the dual machine guns on the PAC's to spew death at seven thousand rounds a minute. Emptying their magazines in barely 20 seconds they sped away, tires squealing, the machine guns retracting, leaving behind a field of dead bodies. Turner gestured out the rear window, pointing to the hotel "watch" he told Chauvex and pressed a button on a small handheld remote. The hotel blew apart, the fireball spewing more pollution into the atmosphere, secondary fires starting as the main fireball slowly faded. Turner looked back at Chauvex's stunned face "Welcome to Mitsu-G".